SWEET SUMACH ~ BARK
Sweet Sumach is native to North America. The settlers learnt about its uses from their native neighbours, who used it for medicine and dye. As a member of the Anacardiaceae family Sweet Sumach is not only related to the well-known ornamental Scarlet Sumach tree, but also to Poison Oak and Poison Ivy, both of which it somewhat resembles. However, unlike these two Sweet Sumach does not usually cause a nasty skin rash, except in very sensitive individuals, perhaps.
Sweet Sumach has been used for urinary problems such as bedwetting as well as for painful urination and difficulty in voiding urine caused by an enlarged prostate. In American herbal practice it is used for diabetes and albuminuria and makes a useful astringent in cases of diarrhoea.
Sweet Sumach is aromatic and can be used as a fine incense ingredient to add an earthy quality.